Edinburgh Fringe: Falkirk's hardest granny returns to make it a Festival hat-trick

Alan Bissett is Falkirk's hardest granny, Moira Bell, who returns to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2022Alan Bissett is Falkirk's hardest granny, Moira Bell, who returns to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2022
Alan Bissett is Falkirk's hardest granny, Moira Bell, who returns to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2022
Falkirk's hardest granny, Moira Bell, is heading back to the Fringe guaranteeing more hilarity as she relives surviving the pandemic with only vodka, fags and her BFF Babs on Zoom to keep her going.

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Alan Bissett's comic creation returns to the Festival following her 2017 Fringe First winning debut The Moira Monologues, which was followed by More Moira Monologues.

In Moira In Lockdown, the third play of the trilogy, Falkirk’s hardest woman faces her toughest challenge yet, the pandemic, as she journeys through the highs and lows of lockdown with writer/performer Alan Bissett returning the role once described as “the most charismatic character to appear on a Scottish stage in a decade” as she lusts after Joe Wickes, rages at Cummings, and grows her own weed.

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“I am hugely excited to be reuniting with director Sacha Kyle to bring back a character that audiences have taken to their hearts so much over the years. The previous two Moira Monologues were an absolute joy to perform – it always is when you’re being a character who says the unsayable – but I needed a good reason to bring Moira back, rather than just doing so for the sake of it,” says Bissett, himself from Falkirk and author of the novels Boyracers, Death of a Ladies’ Man and Pack Men.

He continues, “Reflecting on the bizarre experience the world has had for the last two years, through the particular Scottish, working-class voice of Moira Bell, seems like the only justifiable reason. Once I’d made that decision, I really had to think about what Moira’s lockdown experience would’ve been: the extent to which it was similar to my own and the ways in which it wildly diverged.”

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Moira In Lockdown will run at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on the High Street from August 3-23 (not 11, 15, 17, 19, 22), at 6.30pm and lasts one hour, with tickets going on sale on June 9.

Daniel Abercrombie, programme and events manager, at the Centre, says, “We are delighted that the Moira Monologues will be returning to The Scottish Storytelling Centre this festival season as part of our biggest Fringe programme to date.

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“In Scotland’s Year of Stories what better way to delve into the depths of lockdown than through the exhilarating exploits of Falkirk’s hardest granny Moira.”

Bissett adds, “I can only hope I do justice to the previous two shows, in what will be the third and final part of what is now the Moira trilogy. I mean, nobody wants The Godfather Part III, do they? Hopefully that sense of responsibility to the character, and expectation from the audience, will provide for a unique Fringe experience come August and bring Moira’s story to a satisfying end.”

Bissett's other plays include Turbo Folk and the writer, who won the Glenfiddich Scottish Writer of the Year in 2011, has also written several episodes of BBC Scotland's long-running drama River City. He is currently working on his first novel for over ten years, The Coven and the Drowners.

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